The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wildcats down Blazers, look to biggest football game in school history

Senior+linebacker+Dylan+Minnick+tackles+junior+Blair+wide+receiver+Jay+Mendoza+in+the+second+round+of+the+MPSSAA+playoffs.+With+the+Wildcats+win+over+the+Blazers%2C+the+Cats+advanced+to+the+schools+first-ever+state+quarterfinal.
Sam Mayster
Senior linebacker Dylan Minnick tackles junior Blair wide receiver Jay Mendoza in the second round of the MPSSAA playoffs. With the Wildcat’s win over the Blazers, the Cats advanced to the school’s first-ever state quarterfinal.

Following a 61-12 blowout victory on Friday, Nov. 3 over High Point High School, the Wildcats took care of business again versus Montgomery Blair High School in a 21-7 battle on Nov. 10, making history for the Wildcats in their first-ever season with nine wins. The two statement playoff wins subsequent to the two crushing regular season losses have boosted the team’s confidence at an important time.

Unlike previous games, the Wildcats struggled early on, as an early thrown interception by senior quarterback Charlie Blessing set the Blazers up with good field position. After multiple punts by both offenses, the Cats made a remarkable play to block a punt in which junior defensive lineman Jonny Fisher scooped up the ball and returned it down to the one-yard line, unable to secure the score.

However, Blessing was able to punch in the football on the quarterback sneak for the touchdown, putting the Cats ahead 6-0. Head Coach Aaron Fiddler decided to go for an early two-point conversion which was unsuccessful.

A Blair touchdown quickly put pressure on WJ to respond. This was exactly what the Cats did as senior David Pitsenberger rumbled into the end zone for six points. This time, the two-point conversion was good, leaving the score at 14-7 Wildcats going into halftime.

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Coming out of the half, the Wildcats stuck to their game plan of rushing the football. With the absence of star sophomore running back Dylan Byrd, multiple players stepped up. These include sophomore Taurean Sirleaf, who churned out many productive rushes for key first-down pickups. But even so, a missed fourth down conversion intended for senior Dylan Minnick was off target, concluding the uneventful third quarter. The Cats couldn’t produce any sort of passing attack throughout the game, failing to reach 50 passing yards by the end of the game.

After an early two-yard rushing touchdown from Blessing, the Cats’ defense held Blair in check for the remainder of the game, running out the clock to secure a victory.

The Wildcats offensive line has been impressive all season and a key part of winning games, especially versus Blair.

“The offensive line has been playing really well all year, we aren’t going to slow down,” senior offensive lineman Joe Flynn said.

The Wildcats will travel to Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School on Friday, Nov. 17 in the school’s first-ever state quarterfinal appearance. This will be one of their toughest opponents all season, putting a historical Wildcats football season at heavy risk.

Wise is heavily reliant on their strong run game; if the Wildcats can keep the running game under control it gives them a great shot to win the game.

“We are changing our defensive scheme to a 5-3 so we have more linemen and linebackers in the box since we are playing a run-heavy time,” senior safety and wide receiver Nick Zayas said.

Wise has shut out seven out of their last eight opponents and has only given up two touchdowns, both to Charles H. Flowers High School, who they beat 17-14 in overtime.

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Mateus Bouquet, Print Sports Editor
Junior Mateus Bouquet is extremely excited to get started in his first year with the Pitch as a Sports Editor. Along with writing for the pitch, Mateus is a huge football fan and his weekly mood is based on how the Commanders played.
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